If Gemstone Caverns is in your opening hand and you're not playing first, you may begin the game with Gemstone Caverns in play with a luck counter on it. If you do, remove a card in your hand from the game.
Tap: Add (1) to your mana pool. If Gemstone Caverns has a luck counter on it, instead add one mana of any color to your mana pool.
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Gemstone Caverns Discussion
1 day ago
@smackjack: Eldrazi Displacers can bounce Thought-Knot Seer and create some sort of a soft lock when the opponent is hellbent, but the main task is clearing his attackers or blockers out of the way. The general gameplan would be to get early taxers down T1+2 and then race using the bigger Eldrazi whilst preventing the other player from stabilizing. Quite simple actually.
In what way don't you think this could be referred to as stax? Because it doesn't run Smokestack or Tangle Wire? To me, the combination of Chalice of the Void, Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Thalia, Heretic Cathar and Leonin Arbiter alongside the mana advantage with Gemstone Caverns, Eldrazi Temple and Simian Spirit Guide suits the theme very well.
2 days ago
I've always had a thong against Chrome Mox. I don't like the idea of having to exile a functional card (if you could pitch anything it would be a different story). And in a deck that doesn't fun blue, I just get the feeling that I would be shooting myself in the foot. I would probably run Lotus Petal first, as while it's only single use, it has no drawbacks.
Gemstone Caverns seems interesting. Again, having to exile something I'd frustrating but at least I get to choose anything.
I'll add both to the maybe board though, I'll see if I can get over my exiling phobia :P
2 days ago
1 week ago
Ah! Gemstone Caverns! I almost forgot to mention this one. It's an iffy card, but I have people who swear by it. And I've seen it come out of that opening hand far too many times. (To the point that I always cut their deck now...) Anyhow, it's turn 1 ramp if you happen to get it opening hand. The only reason I'm mentioning it is because you also run Eternal Scourge. Putting that out opening hand and exiling a card that you can simply cast from exile is pure value. I figured I had to at least mention it.
1 week ago
Magnivore, it does have a trigger....It reads, "If Gemstone Caverns is in your opening hand and you're not playing first, you may begin the game with Gemstone Caverns on the battlefield with a luck counter on it. If you do, exile a card from your hand.". So what happens is first the trigger goes off and you pause to see if the opponent has a response, then once it hits the battlefield you pause again to see if there may be another response by the opponent, finally before the opponents upkeep occurs you do the combo instant speed therefore you do it turn 0 before your opponent gets to begin their upkeep.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago
Absolutely fantastic deck Cougz! Honestly, you should have kept it private, tested and tweaked and brought it to a tournament. The fact that it is monoblack makes it all the more fantastic. I've made a copy - I liked it that much - and have been tweaking and playing around with it. A few things strike me as clunky for competitive modern:
Abyssal Persecutor: I agree that it is quite the beater; a 5/5 in the air for BB is nasty (I am assuming that the reduced cost is the most common scenario Abyssal Persecutor will be played as a turn 4 flying 6/6 is not that special in modern when most decks can simply win by that point). You get your opponent down to 0 life and sac it, and you win. However, you already have massive beaters in the form of Eater of Days, Hunted Horror, and Leveler. There is an argument to be made that you don't need Torpor Orb or Sundial of the Infinite for Abyssal Persecutor and so you break from being combo dependent but relying on transference of the creature to prevent your opponent from winning is effectively playing defense. This deck is designed to control turns 1-3 (through hand control with Inquisition of Kozilek and/or Thoughtseize) and win on turn 4. (Sundial of the Infinite, Heartless Summoning, and Sac outlet into Eater of Days or Leveler into Endless Whispers on turn 4 with the hope of sac'ing your game winner the turn Endless Whispers comes into play). You have even more control by killing any threat they can throw at you with your big creatures playable as early as turn 2 with Hunted Horror (although then they get the Centaurs) or turn 3 with anything else (including a torpor'ed or sundial'ed horror). The majority of your damage is non-trample thus for all your big baddies, the opponent can just throw up weenie blocks while they set up their own win condition mitigating the awesome power/toughness that the deck wields so early. In other words, you're not trying to aggro them with this deck; you'd need some form of acceleration to get your Hunted Horror or heartless summoned other baddie out on turn 2 to really be aggro for which you'd need green or Gemstone Caverns. If you want aggro, you have to go more 2 and 3 drops that can be played after heartless summoning as 0 or 1 drops. There is something to be said for this approach because so many at the 4 drop slot make you dependent on Heartless Summoning instead of just synergistic. But if you build more of a control shell, I think the current number of 4 drops is reasonable. If it were up to me I'd say go with Inverter of Truth instead of Abyssal Persecutor as your 6/6 flyer (presumably 5/5 with Heartless Summoning) which has much greater synergy with Torpor Orb/Sundial of the Infinite and Endless Whispers - i.e. its another win condition. Given that your monoblack, you can throw in Bojuka Bog for some of the Swamps to hopefully turn your Inverter of Truth effectively into a Leveler.
Dimir House Guard and Krark-Clan Ironworks - I think these are too clunky. Even with Dimir House Guard doubling as a tutor for your win condition and Krark-Clan Ironworks generating mana (perhaps for a backup Torpor Orb or Sundial of the Infinite), I still worry they are too slow. I've been trying to figure out how better to optimize the sacrifice component of the deck. I've been going back to 4 cards: Life's Legacy, Tormented Thoughts, Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim, and Bound by Moonsilver. In this deck, Life's Legacy is effectively a draw 7 or somewhere there abouts. That's arguably better than Ancestral Recall so long as you can take advantage of the additional hand the turn you cast Life's Legacy which, at only you should be able to. Tormented Thoughts is effectively target opponent discards his or her hand. This may be a more powerful effect than Life's Legacy, especially against a control deck. It also more assuredly guarantees your win by forcing your opponent into top-decking. I like Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim because she'll survive a Heartless Summoning's -1/-1, her deathtouch makes her still relevant as a 1/2, and against non-damaging decks, you'll quickly get to 30+ life which makes her ability relevant. Bound by Moonsilver effectively turns into a reusable Pacifism. Of course all of these except for Tormented Thoughts introduce another color into the deck. The fact that these are turn 3/4/5 plays means that splashing is much easier - and in modern splashing is simple - albeit expensive. It does open you up to bloodmoon and other forms of land hosing which was a former strength of the deck although that form of control doesn't seem to currently be prominent in the meta top 8. I haven't playtested these yet, but given the sac is a late game play, I'd lean heaviest towards Tormented Thoughts. With all that said, none of these options synergize with Heartless Summoning. Ideally, we could figure out a creature version of a sac outlet to benefit from Heartless Summoning's acceleration. The best thing I could come up with was Scourge of Skola Vale. With Heartless Summoning it costs , it survives the -1/-1 coming into play with two +1/+1 counters, and you get to effectively transfer the P/T of the sac'ed creature (which is already an incredible rate) albeit not to block the fatty you just gave them with Endless Whispers as the Scourge of Skola Vale will be tapped. The issue with Scourge of Skola Vale is that I fear it is a win more condition, at least with Endless Whispers on the battlefield. If they are getting your Eater of Days, Inverter of Truth, or any of the others, you should just be winning the game, regardless. That's why I like Tormented Thoughts as insurance.
Torpor Orb and Sundial of the Infinite: your deck revolves around these effects. I think they are a mandatory 4 each of. On review, I think the Sundial of the Infinite may actually be the better card for the deck as you don't need to sacrifice it once you have Endless Whispers. Of course, the Torpor Orb hoses so many modern decks that rely on ETB effects, that they are both fantastic additions. But you absolutely need one of these in play for your deck to work. The deck's primary weakness then is the loss of either or both in play. Looking at the meta, as artifacts and with such big creatures, your deck will trump Lightning Bolts. HOwever, Terminates and especially Path to Exiles will ruin your day and a well-timed Abrupt Decay will end the game for you. Jund and Junk are probably your most dangerous matchups. Your early hand control with Inquisition of Kozilek and Thoughtseize can hopefully protect you against Tron, Scapeshift, Living End, and other combos. Thus you either need backups in play or some form of instant-speed protection. This could mean adding blue for counter effects. But the streamlined mono-black is not something I'd quickly give up. I don't have a great suggestion here. You have the benefit of knowing their hand with your Inquisition of Kozilek/Thoughtseize type effects... Wish I could offer more here.
Finally - and these were just other ideas I was tossing around - your deck shell might accommodate morph/manifest and/or exploit mechanics. The morph is nice because you effectively cheat in ETB-like effects (flip-up effects) while maintaining Torpor Orb and manifest offers an alternative mechanism to get these win-condition creatures into play without having to suffer ETB effects. In fact, if you manifest any of your win-condition creatures with an Endless Whispers already on the battlefield, you never even need flip the creature; just sacrifice and transfer the face-up to the opponent. For those players only familiar with the meta, this will be one heck of a nasty surprise. Keep in mind that Heartless Summoning while no longer offering benefit to the flipped creature's CMC, still affords cheaper morph costs. I bring up morph and not just manifest because you'd want to take advantage of the fact that your opponent won't know what the face down creature is and there are cards (like Grim Haruspex)) that have very inexpensive flip costs. Exploit will be trumped by torpor orb but offers an alternative sacrifice mechanism which, presumably, would be occurring after you sac the Torpor Orb anyway as you want the opponent to suffer the ETB effects. One thing I was thinking about was the combo decks out there. Then again, adding in these effects may be trying to do too much. You might simply want one Jeskai Infiltrator or one Whisperwood Elemental or, heck, one Mastery of the Unseen. Qarsi High Priest would allow you to stay in color... I look forward to yours and the community's response.
3 weeks ago
-Birds of Paradise
I have resisted mana rocks due to their obvious anti-synergy with OmNom but mana crypt provides immediate value whereas Birds breaks even assuming you have Concordant Crossroads out.
Dryad Arbor uses up an extra land ability without providing mana, Green Sun's Zenith is nice but meh elsewhere. I don't like non basic lands as they screw up mana doublers but Gemstone Caverns seems like the best ramp option with late game value currently.
Ghirapur Orrery I started this deck with cramming in every "extra land this turn" card I could find but for one extra land is bad. it's replacement Nature's Lore is a solid card that I simply hadn't realized existed.
Note: for now I am keeping Arbor Elf, Wild Growth, Utopia Sprawl, and Selvala, Heart of the Wilds as they have more late game value than mana-rocks